Mock crime scene used as a teaching tool

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

Crime scene tape, footprints,  a car filled with bullet holes--from a distance, it has the makings of an open investigation, but a closer look reveals a different picture.

"I can't wait to see what it's going to be like--this is my first time to ever do anything like this," said ASU student,  Dwayne McCray.

While this victim isn't real, this badge and these officers are.

"We've been out here an hour and a half almost two hours and we still don't have a clear sense of what happened, who did it, how many victims there was, or anything like that," said McCray.

The investigators are actually ASU students at a mock crime scene as part of a criminal investigations class.  The teacher is Jonesboro Police Chief Mike Yates.

"We cover a lot of different things, crime scene processing, evidence collection, blood spatter analysis," said Yates.

Leaving the textbooks in the classroom, it's hands on learning that Chief Yates hopes will stick.

"Things like this they'll remember for their full career, where sitting in the class and going through the book--that might not stick with them," said Yates.

Chief Yates says not only is this class helping to build a good partnership with ASU, he says it's also a good resource for the JPD.

"It's becoming a good tool for us to get good candidates for police officer positions in the department," said Yates.

Dwayne McCray is hopeful to get one of those positions with JPD.  He says not only does he enjoy the class, he has no hesitations about his future.

"This is it, you found it, this is the diamond you've been looking for," said McCray.

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